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Liability in Winter Car Accidents

The risk of St. Louis car accidents increases significantly during winters, especially when there is ice on the roads.

car accident in St. Louis winter ice

Needless to say, winter car accidents are common, and it is not always easy to determine liability, because liability can shift to someone other than the driver in some cases. In this post, our St. Louis auto accident attorney will explain how liability is determined in winter car accidents.

In winter, drivers must be extra cautious on snowy or icy roads. A negligent driver can be held liable for an accident that results from their actions. Not allowing sufficient space between the vehicles to allow safe braking on ice and speeding are two examples of failure to use reasonable care. However, in some cases, winter accidents are unavoidable and occur despite the driver using caution.

More than one driver can be liable

In winter, the chances of a car accident involving multiple vehicles occurring are much higher compared to other seasons, because the drivers do not have enough reaction time available on ice or snow-covered roads to bring a car to a stop in time. So, it is possible for drivers to be driving extremely cautiously and still get involved in a car accident while driving on ice or snow.

Cars tend to slide into each other on icy roads, from sideswipes when cars spin out due to braking on an icy road, and from head-on and rear-end collisions. It becomes extremely difficult to determine liability when two more drivers are sliding on an icy roadway. Usually, in such cases, the lawyers of the driver or insurance company will attempt to show that one driver failed to use reasonable care for the driving conditions, however, often times a jury will decide whether one of the drivers is to blame or the conditions.

The role of road maintenance

During winters, states, counties, cities, and business owners have varying degrees of responsibility to clear parking lots, roads, and driveways of ice and snow. Failure to meet these responsibilities can result in liability for car accidents falling on the person/party responsible for maintaining the roadway. So, it is important to make every possible effort to clear snow and treat icy roads with sand or salt to reduce the hazards on the road for drivers. If the responsible party fails to clear the roadway in a timely manner and a car accident occurs, the driver who causes the accident may sue the party responsible for road maintenance for any resulting injuries and damages.

Seeking legal help in a winter car accident

Determining liability for a car accident that occurred during winter can often be tricky, because there may be several factors involved, which are beyond the driver’s control. If you have been involved in a winter car accident, you should get in touch with a competent and experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to help determine liability and recover adequate compensation for the injuries. Give us a call anytime, 24/7, nights and weekends, at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Updated: February 13, 2019